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Friday Afternoon News, August 1

Smoke From Burn Pile Hangs Over Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department wants the public to know the city grass, leaf, and tree pile located on the northwest corner of town, has been intentionally set on fire, and is a controlled burn.  Due to the high humidity and calm winds, the air is heavier causing the smoke from that fire to settle over the city of Le Mars creating a haze.  The smell of smoke can be detected in many parts of the town.  Sufferers of asthma may want to remain indoors until winds can blow the smoke away from town.   


Plymouth County Roads Department To Close County Road C-60

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department on Monday will be closing county road C-60 from Highway 75 east to county road K-42.  The closure is expected to last four days, and the reason for the road to be closed is to repair the railroad crossing on the Burlington Northern railroad tracks.  A detour will be set up from the Junction of Highway 75 and County road C-60 south on Highway 75 to County road C-70 then north on county road K-42 to C-60.


Julie Holck Selected As "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce presented an "Employee of the Month" honor this morning.  This month, the award was given to Julie Holck with the Le Mars Insurance Company.  Julies has been an employee with the Le Mars Insurance Company for 30 years.  Patti Hill and the entire staff nominated Julie Holck for the honor.  In their submitted nomination, they feel Julie is deserving of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month award for many reasons.  Not just because she is celebrating her 30th anniversary with Le Mars Insurance Company, but because over the past 30 years, Julie continues to demonstrate great customer services skills along with excellent skills.  Her work ethic is very strong, rarely missing a day of work.  She continues to accept and support the new challenges that we have faced over the years.  For example: web based inquiries, new policy systems, learning the claims entry process, and our current challenge - conversion to the PMS systems.  Julie is knowledgeable in all facets of the company.  Julie can almost do it all.  Julie is a great co-worker as well.  If you need assistance, Julie is there, helping in any department or co-worker, answering many questions such as "how do I do that?" No matter what the job or what the question, Julie is ready to help.  Oh, and she can be bribed with Chocolate if you need something done ASAP.  That is why we believe Julie Holck is worthy of the August Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.  She is a very valuable employee to Le Mars and the Donegal Companies.  Our congratulations to Julie Holck for being named the Chamber of Commerce's "Employee of the Month."


Missing Girls Found In Corn Field

 LARCHWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Two girls who went missing after going out to pick corn in a northwest Iowa field have been found safe.
     The Lyon County Sheriff's Office says the girls were ages 3 and 6. They went to pick corn on Thursday afternoon and got lost in a field.
     Several law enforcement agencies and a helicopter joined the search. A passer-by spotted the girls about 2 1/2 hours after they were reported missing. They've been reunited with their parents.


State Fair Entertainment Costly For State Fair Officials

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state auditor's report shows that when it comes to revenue, all performances at the Iowa State Fair's Grandstand aren't equal. 
     Nine of the fair's 53 acts since 2008 have cost more to bring in than they've earned in ticket sales. 
     The study shows Janet Jackson's 2011 concert appearance was the biggest loser, costing the fair about $107,000. 
     Last year, three performances didn't earn enough ticket sales to cover all entertainers' fees. One of the acts included three "Saturday Night Live" veterans. The fair had to come up with nearly $91,000 to pay the performers.
     Fair officials are hopeful this year's Grandstand acts will sell more tickets. 
     The fair typically attracts about one million visitors during its 11-day run. It starts next month.


Democrats Offer Proposals To Expand Presidential Caucases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Democrats are offering proposals for how to expand access to the state's presidential caucuses.
     Party adviser Norm Sterzenbach says Iowa Democrat Party Chairman Scott Brennan will unveil the recommendations Friday before the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee in Washington.
     The proposals include pushing for legislation requiring employers to give non-essential workers time off to attend their precinct caucus, as well as hiring a staff member to focus on caucus accessibility. 
     The party also wants to provide satellite caucus sites for those who can't easily participate. And they are proposing that Iowans serving in the military could participate through a video-conferencing system.
     The committee will not take action on the broad proposals Friday. The state party must still develop a complete plan to present for approval next spring.




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